Inside the Van Allen Probes' Measuring Instruments


On November 9th, NASA renamed twin satellites - originally known as the Radiation Storm Belt Probes - to the Van Allen Probes in honor of James Van Allen, the scientist who helped launch the field of magnetospheric science. The Van Allen Probes have turned on and tested all instruments and are beginning their prime science mission: observing the giant belts of radiation around Earth in order to understand what causes them to swell and shrink in response to incoming radiation from the sun. The charged particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and astronauts. In this video, Dr. David Sibeck explains the instruments on the twin satellites.